23/08/2002. Connacht, Munster & Ulster conclude their pre-season match programme today, with Connacht playing Munster in Galway (3pm) while Ulster host Glasgow in Ravenhill (7.30pm)
The Munster side to play Connacht in The Sportsground, sees newcomers Dominic Malone, Eddie Halvey and Warren O’Kelly
make the starting line up for the first time. O’Kelly missed the game against Bristol because he was on his honeymoon while Halvey and Malone came on as a second half replacements in that game.
Munster coach Alan Gaffney, in naming a 22 strong squad for, stressed that he would have an extended squad with him in Galway,
“It’s going to be a game of three periods and we will have a bigger squad than
we’ve named so there will be others players who will be getting a run in the course of the game.” Gaffney explained.
Meanwhile, Eddie Halvey is returning to play his club rugby with Shannon while Dominic Malone will team up with UL Bohemians and Australian prop Simon Kerr joins Garryowen.
Munster. John Lacey; Mossie Lawlor, Conor Mahony, Jason Holland, Kevin O’Riordan; Jeremy Staunton, Dominic Malone; Padraig Brennan, John
Fogarty, Warren O’Kelly; Mick Galwey, Donnacha O’Callaghan; Eddie Halvey, Colm McMahon, Jim Williams capt.
Replacements – James Blaney, James Cullinane, Trevor Hogan, David Bowles, Mike Prendergast, Killian Keane, Tommy Cregan.
Changes in the Ulster selection from the side that faced Bedford include the inclusion of Robbie Kempson, Tony McWhirter, Warren Brosnihan and Sheldon Coulter in the starting line-up and Rob Brink on the bench.
Coach Alan Solomons explained that he has rotated his players and is able to do so because of the strength and depth that currently exists within the Ulster squad.
While Mark Blair played 80 mins last week against Bedford in the second row, McWhirter, who missed the Bedford game due to injury, is given his opportunity against Glasgow this weekend.
The back line remains relatively unchanged, the only change being Coulter’s inclusion in place of Cunningham and despite picking up a slight rib injury against Bedford Kieran Campbell has been declared fit to play and retains the scrum-half slot. Amongst the forwards, Brosnihan will play at No 7 following his recovery from a slight ankle injury, the only other two changes to the starting line-up from last week are Tony McWhirter in the second row and South African Robbie Kempson at prop.
Ulster: Bryn Cunningham; James Topping, Ryan Constable, Johnny Bell, Sheldon Coulter; Adam Larkin, Kieran Campbell; Justin Fitzpatrick, Matt Sexton, Robbie Kempson; Tony McWhirter, Jeremy Davidson, Andy Ward (capt), Warren Brosnihan, Russell Nelson.
Replacements: Clem Boyd (16), – Paul Shields (17), Mark Blair (18), Rob Brink (19), Reece Spee (20), Shane Stewart (21), Jan Cunningham (22).